Squidoo Land On Alexa

I was just reading PotpieGirl's blog and she mentioned how her blog ranked as far as Alexa goes. She is in the top 100K for websites, so kudos to her for doing well. It makes me want to emulate her success, so I thought I would take a look at how this blog rates. Alexa gives you information about how many page views you get and your overall ranking.

According to Alexa, my blog, Squidoo Land, my three month average ranking is 4,351,104, which is an increase from 6,021,254. The "reach" of my blog is getting better too. According to Alexa, the reach of Squidoo Land has increased 400 percent.

This blog about how to do better at Squidoo was started in late August 2008 and I didn't know what I was doing (some may say I still don't know what I'm doing!) I've started making a tiny trickle of money from this blog and obviously I hope to increase that into a river. Combined with what I make from my Squidoo lenses, I believe I can expect much better results in 2009. Sure, my blog is only ranked at 4.3 million. That's better than I was doing 6 months ago when I didn't have a blog at all and I am beginning to get visitors who seem to enjoy what I write. I just wish they would leave more comments! I really like having the chance to respond to comments on my blog and hey, it's another chance to get a link to your blog or Squidoo lens or Hubpage from a blog with a Google rank of 2. Every little bit of Google juice helps with your own lens ranking.

The rankings for this blog are admittedly not stellar, but I am seeing a continual increase in my visitors, page views, and this is after only about 4 months. Let's see how I am doing after 6 months or maybe after a year. I am doing better than I was monetarily, and I'm seeing increases in all important categories month over month. Three months ago my blog was ranked around 6.5 million with no readers, no pagerank, and no money. Now Squidoo Land is ranked at 4.3 million on Alexa, has regular visitors, a Google Pagerank of 2 (this will likely go up over time), and I am starting to see a small amount of money from my blog. Isn't that what were are doing this for? I can hardly wait for tomorrow, next month, next year!

AnnaLynne McCord Lens In Top 100 Of PopCulture

My squidoo lens, AnnaLynne McCord is ranked number 62 in the Top 100 of the Squidoo category PopCulture. Here is a list of the current Top Ten of this category:

Top 10 Pop Culture & Celebs



1. Sarah Palin's Glasses by JJNW
2. Why Did Robert Pattinson Cut His Hair & How to Send a Letter to RPattz by AdrienneJenkins
3. Webkinz World by Christene
4. Megan Fox's Tattoos by BigGirlBlue
5. Aaliyah | American Rhythm and Blues Singer, Dancer, Model and Actress by SemperFidelis
6. Diana Rigg by JustBon-Crochet-Designs
7. Robin Meade Of CNN's Morning Express: The Sexiest Newsanchor Ever by JerryK
8. Tina Fey - Actress, Comedian, Writer by xtnshun
9. Miranda Cosgrove by SusanVillasLewis
10. The Roaring 1920's: Fashion, Celebrity, Craziness!!! by Recession-Proof



What I want to do is get my Squidoo lens about AnnaLynne McCord into this group. I realize increased lensrank is not the best goal to have, I want to teach myself how to get this particular lens to rank higher. Whatever I learn from these efforts may help me become a bit better lensmaster. I'll study these 10 or so lenses to see how I can increase my lens rank for this and other lenses.

Just A Little House Cleaning At Squidoo Land

First off, I would like to say happy holidays and Merry Christmas to all who stumble by my little blog. It's Christmas day today and I thought I'd sneak away from the family for a few moments and wish all seasons greetings. This gives me a chance to review my blog, Squidoo Land and start making plans for the new year.

I started this blog in August and although I don't have an opportunity to write every single day, I do plan on writing more in the new year and hopefully with something more concrete to help those struggling with Squidoo and other platforms. I still believe Squidoo is one of the best ways of establishing a web presence and even though I've only been a member for about 4 months, I feel that I've been welcomed for the most part with open arms by the members of Squidoo. If you are unfamiliar with Squidoo, you can join for free and make some money by putting up a webpage (called a lens), including some unique content, and get some sales from the Amazon, Cafepress and eBay modules that you include on your lenses. There are a myriad of tutorial lenses like my Squidoo Newbie Landing Page, which shows you, step-by-step, how to make a lens at Squidoo.

Onward And Upward In 2009 At Squidoo


My plans for the new year are pretty much the same as what I've had since I started at Squidoo, more, more, MORE! I currently have 126 lenses and I plan on increasing the number of lenses I have published to at least double that number by the end of next year. I have about 30 more unpublished lenses that I have been working on for a while. There are so many topics that captivate my interest and that I want to do a lens about that 250 lenses by year-end 2009 may be a conservative assessment. Not only will my little school of lenses expand, so will the potential amount of revenue increase, exponentially. I am losing interest in just focusing on lensrank and I'm moving towards creating more lenses which may generate a sale or three. I am not planning on creating more lenses just for the sole purpose of making money online at Squidoo. I want to make more money, but that is not my only goal.

Maybe I'll Make Some Charity Lenses


So far I've been a little greedy. All of the lenses I've created have been for the purpose of generating a profit for me. There's nothing wrong with that and I don't think as though I should feel somehow guilty about trying to make money with websites. I am making some money at Squidoo, and I plan on increasing my efforts in this area, but I do plan on making a portion of my new lenses as charity lenses, because that means I am giving some to those who deserve it and that's all well and good. Remember, Squidoo takes a portion of all the money generated from your lens before you see your cut of the profits, so each lens already generates some fundage for worthy charities. I just want to give a little bit more to certain other charities over and above the usual Squidoo share. It's just good karma.

Increasing My Affiliate Income


Okay, okay, maybe I am a little bit greedy. What I want to do is continue to increase the income I generate through affiliates (and other methods). There is such potential waiting to be captured in the internet, that seeing what I've done with just a little effort makes me want to re-double my efforts to increase my return.

The Web offers so many options, platforms and other ways of making a buck here and there, I just don't see how anyone can resist it's siren call. "Start a blog and become a millionaire!", "I made XXX dollars, and I'll show you how you can too!" All that stuff is garbage in my opinion. There are no shortcuts to working hard and using your head. If someone were to find a way to make a mountain of money, it is very doubtful they would be offering to show you how to do it for a low, low price. If you want to make a fortune, you have to find a way to have someone pay you more money for your efforts than it took you to get them to pay you. Then you do it again. And again. And again. You get the idea. Do the work, get paid, do the work again and get paid again.

Okay, I'm starting to rant, so I'll stop there. Besides, the turkey needs to be carved and I want to get my belly stuffed and then I can kick back and talk with my family and relax. You should too.

Why Not Apply For Greeter Status At Squidoo?

With all the hoopla surrounding the current race to obtain Giant Squid status at Squidoo, a lot of folks are missing out on another opportunity to contribute to life at Squidoo. There's another position open for application that you might be interested in called Greeter. You have to be a Giant Squid already to apply, but it's another feather in your cap if you get chosen for this position.

Basically, it's temporary - a 3 month term of service. It's pretty easy, and just takes a three to five hours per week. You welcome new lensmasters who announce their presence in the ocean of Squidoo Lensmasters over at the Squidu Forum and encourage them to contribute and visit their lenses. I remember getting my first few visits to my feeble attempts when I first started and there is nothing quite like a few words of encouragement from some of the more established lensmasters to stoke the fire.

You also get to keep an unofficial eye on new lensmasters who you think might develop into Giants themselves. Helping others with a kind word here and there might be all they need to become first-class citizens of Squidoo. Also, according to the powers that be, there may be some "projects" that the greeters can contribute too. I dunno what that means, but you never know. Squidoo is always changing and adapting itself with new features, modules and such. We recently got a new improved editing page that simplifies how we add modules (all on one page! Yes!). Who knows what's coming down the pike? Maybe you'll get a heads up as a greeter so you can alert newer folks with timely answers, and it'll help you out as a lensmaster too. Basically it's a win-win.

Remember, it's only for a 3 month term, but it's another way of giving back and helping out others which is always a good idea. If you are interested, you can fire off an email to beagreeter@squidoo.com saying why you might like to do it. At least give it a shot. You might have fun and you get a Greeter Badge as well!

I Applied For Giant Squid Status

I have taken the plunge. Yesterday I sent off my application to Squidoo HQ for Giant Squid status. Of course, I don't think I'll get it. I have the numbers (you need 50 to apply) but as always I'm concerned about quality. You need to have 50 quality lenses, not 5-6 really great ones and the rest only so-so. I think I might get it but of course I just dunno. If you want to take a look at all my lenses (remember, I have 126 published, plus a mittful of unpublished ones) here's a link to my lensmaster page.

Weird that my lens about Benedict Arnold is now my number one lens. It seems to get a fair bit of traffic week in, week out. I think I have too many "Who Is..." Squidoo pages, lots of hockey players, celebrities, that sort of thing. But I do have a lot of other types of pages. I've read that the folks who make the decisions about who they let into the select group of Giant Squids don't like too many of that type of lenses, but they are only a part of my output. And just about all of them have a fair bit of work done on them, modules added, lots of photos, lots of content (I'm always trying to add more content).

Still, is this enough? Hope so. If not, I'll re-apply for the March 31st deadline and re-double my efforts. Even if I were to get a Giant Squid badge added to my lenses, that's only one step. You can't rest on your laurels around Squidoo. I'm one of those "onwards and upwards" type of people and I'll probably double my output by the next deadline, just to give those selecting new Giants a little wider choice.

Still, I'll report here at Squidoo Land how I do. Hopefully my efforts will spur others on to apply. Wish me luck.

Link Exchanges Are A No-No At Squidoo

I was just at the Squidu Forum and there's quite the hub-bub being raised (rightfully so, IMHO) about so-called "ratings exchanges" that seem to be popping up with some regularity. Don't use them. I repeat: DO NOT USE RATINGS EXCHANGES!

A ratings exchange is one of those, "you rate mine and I'll rate yours" deals. It is an artificial method of getting your lenses noticed. The more stars you have, presumably the higher your lens might rank. Obviously everyone wants to have their lenses ranked highly, but this type of thing is heavily frowned on by the powers that be at Squidoo. It is expressly stated in the Squidoo "Terms of Service" that this is not acceptable behaviour. If you are unclear, READ THE TERMS. They are there to clear this sort of misunderstandings up. There's nothing wrong with encouraging people to visit your work and commenting on what they think about your efforts, but this you scratch my back and I'll scratch yours is against the rules.

A lot of new members at Squidoo fall prey to these schemes from time to time and they risk getting themselves banned or at the very least, having their lenses locked, preventing visitors from finding their hard work (which is what you want in the first place: outside traffic who are actually interested in your content). You will get far more visitors to your lenses by creating unique, interesting content than by using methods like these to inflate your status at Squidoo. Don't do it. Don't encourage it. There are far more legitimate ways of getting people to visit you than trying to take shortcuts like this.

You can find a good thread about this at Squidu called Ratings Swaps Round 2?. The thread is already up to 3 pages long with 50-plus posts. Very illuminating for those unclear about the concept. Once again, you should read the forum at Squidoo from time to time because there is always something being discussed that will help you do better. This is one of those times.

Squidoo Land Garners Google Page Rank!

Hey! I just checked and the little blog that could (yeah I'm talking about Squidoo Land) is now a page rank 2 blog according to Google. That means I'm considered something of an authority on Squidoo, but don't tell anyone. I'm still getting my feet wet at Squidoo (my tentacles wet?)

I started this blog in September to let people know about Squidoo and why they should join up with this great website. You can join here and begin your own journey on Squidoo. Hey, you can make money and some can make a lot of money. Besides money, there's the fun aspect. I like writing about various topics and posting on the Squidu forum and reading and conversing with other lensmasters about how they're doing and what they are doing to get better.

As far as getting higher page rank, obviously this is very pleasing to me, and makes me want to push it even higher to the next level. I'm starting to get some notice for what I'm writing which I love to do, and I'm getting some readers (very important) and slowly but surely, I'm starting to make a little bit of money off of my blogging. All I can say is:

"Google loves me this I know...
For my pagerank tells me so."

I have other blogs I'm working on and now I see that eventually if you keep at it that positive things start happening. Maybe I can leverage my love for writing into a couple of dozen blogs, each producing a dollar here and there. I'm always reading about how to make your blogging better. A monetization here, a little there...

Payday At Squidoo

Today is the day every Squidoo lensmaster looks for to (some with a certain dread). It is payday at Squidoo. Today's the day that you get paid for the lens ranking of your work for the month of October because it is always paid 2 months behind. In case you don't know, there are tiers to the payout structure, 1st tier, 2nd tier and 3rd tier.

This is the 3rd time I've received something from Squidoo, and it has gone up again! I did recieve $0.08 on the first payday that I was eligible for, but even that surprised me. That was back in October and was the payment for August. I had joined Squidoo August 14th, so having received even 8 cents was a bit of a surprise. This time my payday is tipping the scale at $6.94. Still not much, but an increase from last time, nonetheless.

There are plenty of lensmasters who make much, much more than I've received and kudos to them. The way things are going, I should break the $10 per month barrier either next month or the month afterwards, which would be cool. I am just now starting to experiment with my own affiliate links. Lots of lensmasters use their own links to supplement their online incomes. Some make a lot (from what I've heard around the watercooler), and I know it is one method available for those of us who want to increase what we get from our Squidoo misadventures.

Here is a list of what the various tiers pay out per lens at Squidoo on a month by month basis:

Month

Tier 1

Tier 2

Tier 3


October

$12.00

$1.94

$0.08


September

$11.75

$1.96

$0.08


August

$10.75

$1.81

$0.08


July

$11.04

$1.72

$0.08





This is just for the last 4 months. Others have longer lists, but they've been keeping track longer than I have. Still $12 per lens is nothing to sneeze at. The tiers are broken down as follows:

Tier One: 1-2000
Tier Two: 2001-about 8000
Tier Three: 8001-about 60000

It is still very easy to get ranked in the 3rd tier. Basically all you have to do is to show up with good content. Tier 2 is tougher. Your content needs to be really good, a little more traffic, more links to your work, and having your lens rated well with lots of 5-stars definitely helps. Getting into the top tier is what everyone at Squidoo shoots for. Some seem to do it relatively easily, while others (including me) have a tougher go of things. You need to have unique, interesting content, loved by other Squids who rate the lens a 5. Having some Squid Angels bless your work is definitely helpful too. A lot of the top rank lenses also draw a ton of visitors, 200-300 a day. That's something you must shoot for not just to increase your lensranking, but to get sales on your pages as well. It is very difficult to maintain a top ranking. I've had a couple of lenses go into the top tier, but then they slip out again, but others have had the same experience I'm sure. Others just are great lenses and it would take herculean efforts to dislodge them. But Id like to think I'm up for the challenge. Are you?

3 Weeks Left For Giant Squid Race!

Okay, it's coming down to the nitty-gritty as the race for Giant Squid status is entering it's final three weeks. You can see the post I made a while back at Squidoo Land here at Wow! The Race For Giant Squid Status In On!.

I'm still not ready yet myself and the number of other squids cranking out great work is reaching a feverish pace. The thread over Squidu is now at 17 pages and 408 posts! I haven't seen a topic generate so much excitement, not even the last challenge that ended September 30th. Are you ready? Do you think you will have 50 great lenses ready? You have until December 31st to create 50 great webpages but make sure you apply NOW! You also have to give the folks at Squidoo a chance to review them, so don't wait until the last minute to put your name in the hat!

Uh, Oh. The Big Blue Box Arrived On My Squidoo Dashboard

It appears to be that time again. Payday at Squidoo. I logged into Squidoo and there it was again, the big blue box, signifying the announcement of what I earned for the month of October. As we are always paid about a month and about a half after the end of the month, I can expect a little something, something in my PayPal account in the next few days.

As for me, my lenses took a bit of a tumble in the rankings all through October with none in the top tier. I don't expect much if anything at all for October, just my 2nd full month having lenses on Squidoo. November was slightly better and December better still, but I don't believe I'll have made enough to pass the $10 threshhold. Other will have been a bit luckier, some earning upwards of $1,000, but many less. My goal remains unchanged to have $1,000 a month from Squidoo and I'm putting in my efforts to increase the number and quality of my lenses. Still a long haul before I reach my mark, but I will get there eventually. I'll again announce my earnings at Squidoo Land (hopefully tomorrow). Wish me luck! I congratulate those who have done well. Those that haven't met your goals at Squidoo yet, carry on and continue working towards them.

Christmas Shopping: Easier Online?


Do you feel it? The sense of urgency has cranked up a bit as Christmas edges closer and closer. I haven't posted on Squidoo Land for a few days because I've been out there in the trenches looking for those special gifts for my loved ones. I saw the panic in the eyes of some, the weariness in others. Sitting at the food court I overheard a couple of people discussing their Christmas plans and how every year they don't have enough time to shop for everyone they want to buy for. One woman mentioned how she had picked up a number of things shopping online at Amazon and other websites and how relieved she was that she now only had to brave the malls for a short period of time. The other women traded stories of how they were checking out other online shopping websites (I should have chimed in about Squidoo), and how they had looked at this item online and the price of that item. I thought what a good idea for a blog post!

It seems that shopping online for Christmas gifts is becoming a larger option for more and more people. Not just because of the time factor (you can shop even when the malls are closed) but because you can look at items that are not readily available at the local mall. One woman I work with was DONE before December even started. Knowing her, she will still go out a few times more to pick up some odds and ends. Me, I am one of those guys who always seems to be hanging around the mall a day or two before the big day with that exhausted look and a number of packages in my tired arms. "Not next year" I pledge, and there I am again.

What I hate is the number of people. Don't get me wrong, I am a people person and I do love the season. It seems that Christmas shopping brings out the worst in some people. It's almost as if they have never been to the mall before! They slowly shuffle down isles and stop walking to look around in awe. Move it people! I have to get to the toy section before they run out of Tickle Me Elmos! And don't get me started about the roads and parking lots. I'm starting to see the HUGE advantage of sitting on my duff in front of my computer going through Amazon and eBay, and Barnes and Noble and Sears online.

By checking out various stores and individual websites, I can decide what I want to purchase before I go to the store. I can see if something is available at the store I want to shop at. If I want to, I can order it online and have it delivered. If I want to, I can have something delivered across the country to friends and loved ones. Remember back in the day having to line up at the post office after spending all that time wrapping presents and paying for postage? You can get free delivery on certain purchases through Amazon.com and others.

I know I'm only scratching the surface on the benefits of online shopping. I just hope you don't have the sore feet, aching back and other assorted ailments I get when I get home after a day shuffling through the stores. Sit back, put your feet up and do some online shopping. You won't regret it and you might save some money. And have Merry Christmas!

New Zazzle Module Now Available On Squidoo

If you are already a Zazzle member, you now have an option that may help you to increase your sales. Squidoo just unveiled their new Zazzle module which allows people with Squidoo lenses to showcase items they have for sale on Zazzle. Even if you don't sell stuff on Zazzle, you can still use this cool new mod. The layout is pretty slick and you can choose from a list of 22 categories, or choose all and display a selection across all 22 categories.

This new mod gets the Squidoo Land thumbs up. I am going to prowl around Zazzle looking for cool items to list on my various lenses. There are already some members of Zazzle who have put together Squidoo lenses to highlight items they sell on Zazzle. Here's a couple:

Zazzle 101

Zazzle Blog

The first link is to an excellent lens outlining how to use Zazzle for those unfamiliar with the site. The second is a link to the Zazzle blog, where people selling on Zazzle write about their tips etc.

Facebook Groups: Do They Draw Traffic? Squidoo Land Says Yes and No

Yup. You will get some traffic from Facebook groups, but not the type you want. I'm not knocking Facebook or the groups set up there. I have a number of small groups I have put together myself. They are garnering some members and some of the others I am a member of have some lively debate. It's almost like the old chat rooms that were so busy for so long years ago. There's a lot of "You suck" comments and "we're number one!" type of conversations. Not exactly highbrow dialog goes on for very long.

And that's the problem. These groups draw a lot of people. Some groups have a torrent of traffic dropping by leaving comments about President Obama, or their favorite sports team after a big win. By siphoning off some traffic from these groups to go to your website or Squidoo lens you may luck out and make a sale or click. Sure it's great to see the number of visitors go up. But if they are not interested in what your selling, what's the point? Like I said, traffic is traffic, some converts but other visitors don't. Maybe you can get a sale of a hat or jersey from a visitor once in a while, but the bottom line is if you are in this to make some money, most of the Facebook crowd are not coming to you with money in their hot little hands to buy stuff. They want to read. They want to look at cool pictures. Maybe they'll click on a link for more info. But the majority won't convert.

But Some Facebook Traffic Does Convert! Doesn't It?

Yup. After slamming Facebook traffic above, I want to state yes they do convert. I get some traffic and a regular percentage buy stuff and click to see more information about what I'm sellin'. What is needed is MORE TRAFFIC! You won't convert all your visitors into customers with any source of online traffic. That's an obvious pipedream. What you want is to increase the number of visitors to your lenses, right? So you don't sell all of them a poster or new set of gardening tools. A tiny percentage of a increasingly larger group buys stuff. That means your total number of sales increases.

You are getting people to see your work. Some buy, some don't. Facebook is a source of traffic. Get more. Get more traffic from Facebook, from MySpace, from the forums you post in. Some traffic converts better than others and the point is some traffic converts! Sure the folks dropping by from Facebook don't all make the big plasma TV purchase, but some buy stuff. That's what you want. A regular source of traffic that purchases a little something and comes back again. What more could you ask for?

How To Get Traffic To My Squidoo Lens

To ultimately be successful with Squidoo or any website you need to have a fair number of visitors, but how do you get that online traffic in the first place? Well, first you have to provide them with a reason for coming to your lens in the first place. You can have either one of two choices: an empty lens or one brimming with content. If you take the first option, you will fail. I've seen empty lenses and once you've seen one, there's not much to hold your attention. Any good website or Squidoo lens needs to hold your visitor's attention and spark their curiousity to explore more of your content.

Do You Want Some Examples Of Great Content?

You will hear about what great content means here at Squidoo Land or from anyone advising what makes a great lens. An empty lens is not great. It has great potential, but unused potential equals failure in my books. No one can create a truly fantastic and unique Squidoo lens (actually some can!) off the top of their heads. You need to plan out what you want to accomplish with this lens. You can make a lens about your pet dog with no real rhyme or reason. It may end up as a jumbled mess or a truly inspired portrait of Fido that anyone will enjoy. I've seen both types. Then there are those lenses that zero in on a moment in history and explain in a beautiful painstakingly detailed manner what happened. I want to point out a couple of examples I've found at Squidoo:

RMS Titanic, Ship of Dreams

Thirteen Days in October: The Cuban Missile Crisis

The one about the sinking of the Titannic is beautiful in design and contains an incredible amount of detail about the ship from it's beginning and construction to that fateful night in the Atlantic Ocean. The second lens concerns itself with an era that the majority of people may have heard of, but are not familiar with. A point in history where the world came so close to nuculear annihilation. The pictures help tell the story of confrontation, moment by moment, to it's conclusion.
Unfortunately neither one of these lenses are mine. They do certainly provide me with a ton of motivation to create lenses of a similar standard. I don't know if I have the ability to make such stunning lenses, but after looking at what these two different lensmasters have accomplished, I am chomping at the bit to try.

Great Content Alone Isn't The Success I'm Looking For

Don't get me wrong. I really like the two examples shown above. I would probably dislocate something trying to pat myself on the back if my work at Squidoo approached those two gems of lensmaking. What you want to do is create a lens that stops visitors in their collective tracks, but first, how do you get those visitors to your lens in the first place?

Ah, there's the rub. You can write and gather the most spellbinding content, laid out in intriguing fashion, but how do you get eyeballs on your work? Well, you can hope some shlep at Squidoo Land gives you a link, like I did above. What you need are links to your work. Links, links and then some more links. Otherwise you are just throwing a great party and forgetting to send out the invitations! People will find great websites and great lenses, but what you need to do is invite them to see what you've created.

Approach Lensmaking As A 2-Step Process

What you need to do is make that great lens. Update it from time to time. Tweak it, add to it or delete portions that don't add to it's overall appeal. That's all part of step one. Step Two? If you want longterm, continuous visitors to see your work of art, you need to let the other shoe drop. Market the heck out of it! Sure, you can expect visitors on Squidoo to find your lens, but what you want is hundreds beating a path to your lens or website. You can hope the the mighty Google will sniff out your content and reward you with such kudos as a page one rank. Rankings on Google have a tendency to fluctuate to an exasperating degree. I've seen some of my own feeble lensmaking efforts debut on the first page of Google, then sink away to page 10-20 or completely disappear altogether! Drat and double-drat!!

What you need to do is make sure that someone looking for the topic of your lens can find a link to you everywhere. Think of it like seeing a poster pasted on the wall. And under your windshield. And in your mail. And on the TV. You get the idea.

Basically you need to get the word out to everyone who is remotely interested in your terrific lens. Drive online looky-loos to look at what you have to offer. Some will take a quick look, but others will have the reaction you want: jaw-dropping appreciation. There is nothing you can say that takes the place of an enthusiastic response to what you've created. You want bloggers like Squidoo Land, websites, general online surfers, everyone to stop by and say hello. People will start to save it to their favorites lists, other Squidoo lensmasters will save your work to disect your lens because of the way you've formatted parts of it and they want to do something similar. You'll get links from bloggers who want to showcase what can be accomplished with Squidoo and use your lens to show how to get online traffic to visit your Squidoo lens.

A Followup Regarding RSS Feeds And Squidoo Lenses

I erred in my earlier post on Squidoo Land called Are You A Blogger? RSS Your Blog Onto Squidoo. Luckily a couple of more experienced Lensmasters spotted my mistake and alerted me to what I did wrong (thanks for the heads up guys). In the post I raved about one of the modules available to Squidoo lensmasters that allows you to put headlines from your blog on your lens which will lead people stopping by your lens to your blog when they click on the headline. I implied that the RSS feed was actually a "backlink" which it isn't.

A legit backlink will get spotted by Google and the other search engines and you have a direct link to your blog. The RSS module uses Javascript and therefore doesn't produce an actual backlink. The search engine won't see your headline as an actual link to your blog like your human visitor will.

In the post, I showed how to set up the RSS module to bring visitors from your lens to your blog. If you want an actual backlink from your lens to your blog, what you need to do is set up a manual link to your blog (either in the text portion of the module or elsewhere in your lens). Hope that clears it up!

My Latest Squidoo Creation: A List Of My Favorite Lenses


I've just published a nice lens about all the different lenses that just jumped out at me during my travelling around Squidoo. It's called simply My Favorite Lenses. It's really just a short list of some of the wonderful lenses I've come across during my short time as a lensmaster. There's probably hundreds more that for one reason or another I just haven't found yet. But as I stumble around, I keep finding more and more that should be highlighted and with this lens I'm going to keep adding and adjusting it so that it is something I can be proud of. Hopefully you'll like it as much as I do.

How to Make Money

That is the question of the day. How to make money? I'm working like crazy trying to establish a presence online with my Squidoo lenses, blogs and other ventures just waiting for the money to start flowing in. So far it's been pretty much a trickle, but I'm seeing movement. Slight increases in visits and clickthroughs, a spike in traffic here, a dollar earned there. Nobody said it would be easy. Well, actually a lot of people said it was easy, especially if just "buy my (insert SEO or affiliate marketing) product for the low, low price of..."

Set Your Goals

How much money do I want to make? I like everyone else I have visions of piles of loot, big boats and scantily clad women celebrating all that is me. I know that's not about to happen any time soon, so what I would like is to make enough money online to wave goodbye to my day job and concentrate on becoming a one-man show. That means having enough money in the bank to tide me over if my online business crashes and burns. That means, enough to cover my mortgage payments, loans, food, everything. Right now my online businesses don't do that. So I am required to hang on tightly to my current employment. For now.

One of my goals is to shake hands with the boss slap her on the back and thank her for keeping me on as long as she did. Don't burn bridges if you leave your job. Even if you hate it, don't turn over your desk and storm out, flipping off everyone on the way. One guy I worked with did that and the new job he thought he was going to didn't pan out. Needless to say, he's not welcome so much as a toe in the lobby. Your former boss may turn out to be your biggest customer. You just never know.

Now, What About Goals

What I would like is for each of my Squidoo pages (I currently have over 120 and I'm making more daily) to earn me a dollar a day. Sound's easy, doesn't it? Well, it's not. A dollar a day from one site, so just make a hundred similar sites and you'll be making $100 a day. That's $36,500 a year. Simple. Now here's my ebook on how I did it for the low, low price... I'm kidding. I don't have my book started yet. That's because this 100 site nonsense is just that, nonsense. Yes you can make a living off of the internet, but it is not like turning on a faucet. I'm still searching for that elusive plumbing outlet. Right now, I'm hauling my water in small jugs. Hopefully I can get a pipe connected this faucet soon, but in the meantime, I'll be doing a lot of hard work.

My goals are to make $5,000 a month total from online income a month within 2 years. Simple and (more importantly) achievable! It isn't happening right now and it won't happen next month, but in 2 years from today - I will be making that amount (maybe more) every month. Now, how do I do that? Ummm...

My Blueprint For Online Success

Okay, what are the steps I'm going to follow to make this goal happen? I don't expect this to happen overnight. It hasn't yet and it likely won't happen when I wake up tomorrow morning. The secret (well, it's no secret really) is expansion of my little network.

More blogs, more Squidoo lenses, maybe add a dash of hubpages, throw in some adsense, some social networking, maybe a swig from article marketing and an affiliate link here and there. So far, this has been an appetizer. I currently have some blogs (underperforming, but getting some traction), my Squidoo lenses, pretty much the same, but they are getting better all the time and are starting to throw off a small stream on money.

I haven't made my presence known on Hubpages yet, but as I've elbowed my way into Squidoo, I've picked up a few ideas. I expect I'll have about 500 lenses at Squidoo by this time next year the way I've been cranking them out. It's a lot of fun, hit and miss, but more opportunities avail themselves as Squidoo evolves. I'm currently putting together some Facebook groups that are starting to garner memberships. Those will expand and more are coming.

But others are already doing all this. What makes you think you can succeed? Well, they don't have my determination, skill, or patience. Like I said, I am going to succeed. I know it. If you don't believe me, fine. Come back later and check on my progress. In the meantime, I'll be writing, reading, testing, measuring, re-writing, reading some more, etc. If I'm not where I claimed I will be, call me on it. Call me a liar, a fraud. Whatever. November 2010. Mark it on your calendar. I know I will.

Cobie Smulders' Pregnancy News Draws Visitors To Squidoo


My lens about How I Met Your Mother's Cobie Smulders suddenly shot up in the rankings after I posted some information about the recent news that Cobie and her husband, Taran Killam are expecting a baby in the spring. First off, I'd like to offer my congratulations as this is the first child for the couple. I watch the show regularly (Cobie is hot, what can I say) and this on top of the news that fellow castmember Alyson Hannigan was pregnant is drawing some traffic to my lens.

I am usually on the lookout for bits of information that would fit into my lenses and although I expected a small bump, the traffic has been a record for this lens. I don't expect any longterm visitors, but it's nice to see my work getting put in front of eyeballs.

Are You A Blogger? RSS Your Blog Onto Squidoo


Are you a blogger? Do you want to find another way to get more eyeballs on your blog? One way is to have your blog show up on your lens at Squidoo. You actually don't have to even be a member of Squidoo to get a cool backlink to your blog! How do you do it? I'll show you...

First, what is Squidoo? It's a website where individuals can write about ANYTHING they want. I've got over 100 different pages, all about different subjects: people, places, what have you. You can write up one of these pages (we call them lenses, as in you focus one one basic topic and give that topic your own slant). But enough about what Squidoo is. You should visit and look around. Here's a link to one of my own lenses called Squidoo and Lens Making. there's about 750,000 different pages on Squidoo about just about every subject and thousands are added each day.

Okay, okay, tell me about the RSS Feed

Well you start by making a page of your own. There's a ton of easy to follow tutorials on Squidoo that lead you by the hand in how to make a lens. It's all free. No membership fees or hidden costs. Make a lens and at the top and bottom of the lens is a buttoin called "Add Modules." You click one and you are taken to a page where you have a choice of dozens of great modules you can add. Just look at the bottom of the current list the page opens with and it will say "RSS: Add Your Own Feed" with "Add" highlighted beside it. Click add. You'll be prompted to add another. No need to add more now (add some more later). On the right of the page you'll see 3 more button: "Preview Lens Layout", "Cancel" and "Save." Click Save. You will be taken back to your Work In Progress page.

Scroll down to the bottom of the page and there's the RSS module, looking a little empty. Click "Edit" and it opens up. You'll want to change the title from the default to something little "Here's My Excellent Blog" or "Other Great Info About ..." In the box titled "What URL would you like to pull RSS from?" type in the URL for your blog. Include the FULL title, ie: http://www.my-excellent-lens.com or whatever your blog is listed as. Next put in how many headlines you want to feature: 1, 2, 3, 5, 50, well fifty might be a bit excessive. The "Would you like to include an excerpt from each link in the feed??" allows you to have a portion of your topic in each blog entry to show up. I usually choose "excerpt (100 characters) so visitors will get to see something that teases them into clicking the headline link.
Anyway, I then click save and presto! There it is!! You own backlink to your blog.

To see how it looks here's a link to one of my other lenses Squidoo Newbie Landing Page. Just click on one of the headlines if you want to come back to my blog, or take a look at my step by step method of building a lens at Squidoo.

Why Is My Halloween Lens My Best Ranked At Squidoo?


Okay. It's late November. Time to put away the Halloween stuff and start concentrating on Christmas and the holidays that follow. So How come my Halloween lenses is continuing to bubble up to the top of the rankings at Squidoo? I created the lens called Ghost Pictures the week before Halloween, regrettably late to get the full force of the spooky holiday traffic, but it continues to get traffic and lately became my number one ranked lens.

It's a pretty simple set up - a bunch of odd photos I've collected that show pictures of ghosts lurking in the background as pictures are taken of various groups, a vacant house or two with a eerie face peering out of a window. Some video showing "something" running through a frame (I have to admit that one's good). The best is the rocking chair. Watch it closely as it moves slowly.

All in all, it was fun to make and it's fun to look at and it's somewhat unique. It can be stumbled on at just about any time of year and visitors will likely be pleased. The lens is about to enter the top tier at Squidoo (only my second to have made it to that lofty rank) and I think that's great. It just goes to show that something you think is a one-off quick little lens can find it's feet (tentacles at Squidoo?) I don't know if it will continue getting traffic, but it's fun to watch it get visitors. Maybe by next Halloween I'll have some more Halloween lenses zipping up the ranks. I know now that I'll be making some. They're fun to make and can make you a little bit of money too.

My Squidoo Group Just Got An Award For Excellence!


Isn't that cool? I've been working on my group called the Hockey World Headquarters for a while now and I just got the nod for my efforts. I get to display the badge you see on my group for all to see. This is the second award I've been given for the work I have done (and continue doing) on Squidoo. I was previously named Lensmaster of the Day and blogged about it here. Now I want to make even more groups and of course, expand my hockey group. One of the benefits of always working to improve the quality of your lenses on a continuous basis is that eventually you are rewarded. Accolades first, followed by increased traffic, higher lensrank, more traffic, some sales, and increased motivation to succeed. Keep at this online marketing business and you will get better at it. Success breeds success.

Christmas Coming Early For Squidoo


Do you have your Christmas lenses up and running yet? It's not too late to get some great lenses made. There's a ga-zillion holiday-related lenses (and other websites) decked out in Christmas cheer and there's a good reason for this. The shoppers are coming! I have some lenses with a little bit of Christmas added in and they are starting to pick up traffic as we near ever closer to the big day in December. I knew that Christmas is the busy time of the year for retailers, but I've let sufficient time slip by that I could have used a little more productively.
A large proportion of companies make their year based on the Christmas season and then coast for the remainder of the year, waiting for next year.

If you check the Google stats for various keywords, since the beginning of October people are looking for that great gift, decorating idea, holiday songs and movies and everything Santa Claus themed you can think of. There are spikes for keywords you should be using. You'll have to find them yourself, because I'm not going to tell you all my secrets. By the end of January the madness will subside for yet another year as the crowds move on to Valentine's Day, Mother's Day and other stuff. Unfortunately I started at Squidoo in August and didn't plan ahead to take advantage of this increase in traffic that other lensmasters currently enjoy with their well established Christmas lenses, but I'll be ready for next year. I was concentrating on making lenses about topics non-holiday related, and just stumbling around Squidoo making a nuisance of myself with my questions.

I'll still be pestering others for answers, but I will be preparing for Christmas 2009. There are numerous topics that are not covered or that need my own slant. Plus there's the summer months which offer so much potential for great topics (and maybe a little coinage). But the months leading up to Christmas Day, as the crowds start getting larger, the chance to make sales dramatically increases. This coming year I'll be a little wiser, a little more prepared. Pretty much better able to tackle the opportunities as they present themselves. Sounds like I'm getting started a little early on my New Year's Resolutions doesn't it? Well, a little bit of preparation goes so much further than trying to patch up errors made earlier. Speaking of resolutions, I checked and there's lots of lenses regarding New Year's Resolutions (even some groups!). I guess the run up to Christmas has taught me to look beyond my immediate status on Squidoo to what I want to accomplish and where I want to be. (Cue the uplifting music...)

Wow! The Race For Giant Squid Status In On!


I was just at the forum over at Squidoo and there's a hot topic being discussed right now. It concerns the upcoming deadline for attaining Giant Squid status and the thread is already on it's 10th page! The discussion is called Potential Giant Challenge December 31 Deadline but remember, you have to log in as a Squidoo member to leave a post.

All the Squidoo lensmasters are trying to get 50 lenses created before the deadline so they can have the "Giant Squid" badge on each of their lenses. Just to let you know, I've also thrown my hat into the ring because I want to have the privileges (and bragging rights too) that come with this enhanced status. What special rights and powers come with this honor?

What Happens When I Become A Giant Squid?

Well, besides having 50 great lenses, you get access to the Giant Squid Blog (it's all hush, hush - trading squid recipes etc., teaching the secret Squidoo handshake), but really, they post really interesting articles that help them make better lenses, SEO, that kinda stuff (or so I'm told, but I still think they trade recipes).

They get access to Megan Casey through email. She's a Squidoo bigwig (no she doesn't wear a wig).

The Badge.

A Gold Star on all your published lenses. (Here's a secret: the gold star gives a little nudge in the lens rankings dept.)

You get a special template for making "custom lenses." It helps big time in creating lenses. I WANT THIS ONE!

You get the lowdown about new modules, lens features and stuff before the rest of us do.

And a special dashboard.

What does it take to get Giant Squid Status? Besides hard work?

50 really good lenses. Not just 50 lenses. 50 lenses that stand out. They are above the norm. Each one should be about something interesting and somewhat unique. If you have 1,000 okay lenses or 5-6 absolute masterpieces, but the rest are only so-so, you won't make it.

You can sell stuff on your lenses, but a lens chock full of ebay and Amazon modules makes your lens look a little spammy. Get some good content about the products you are selling. Put a little you into it. Jazz it up with some photos, maybe a little color. Don't go overboard with a zillion weird fonts. That will just drive people away. Try to use different squidoo modules. There are plenty available. Don't stick with the same ones on all your lenses. Avoid the cookie-cutter approach.

And make sure you change the defaults on the module headings. I hate seeing a lens with "New Amazon Plexo" or "New eBay" that just won't make the cut.

Even straight A students don't get into Princeton

Take a look at one of the better lenses about getting there called THE GIANT SQUIDS (and how you can become one) by MeganCasey (one of the head honchos at Squidoo). Lots of info you will need to know if you want to get into the club. She uses that great line I used in the title to this section "Even straight A students don't get into Princeton." There's a LOT of people working towards becoming a Giant Squid (more and more each time) so the competition is getting tougher and the standards higher. Remember, if you don't make it this time, you can try again in 3 months. Not everyone makes it their first time out of the shoot.

When The Next Deadline? How Do I Sign Up?

The current deadline is December 31st, and the next one ends March 31st. Obviously it runs every 90 days. How do you sign up? There's an email link on your dashboard down in the lower lefthand side.

Better get cracking! There's a whole school of Squids already working like crazy for this honor. Will you be one of the few who make it this time? I wish you luck. Now stop reading my blog for heaven's sake! You've got lenses to make! Well maybe save it as a favorite first so you can read more of my brilliant ramblings later.

Okay, now GO!

Oddly I'm Seeing A General Decline In My Overall Lensrank

Squidoo is a fun hobby, but it can be infuriating at times. I have so many lenses now, covering a wide variety of topics that it really keeps me hopping. One of my favorite lenses is the one I did on NHL Star Sidney Crosby that has consistently received some traffic and that I've updated almost daily. For some reason only one person has ever rated it (5/5 - thanks!) and it recently had a couple of days with 30-40 visitors which is great. Now all of a sudden, after being ranked in the top 10,000 for a month it dropped to about 25,000, then 47,000. Weird.

The same for my lens on AnnaLynne McCord. Oddly no one has bothered to rate it and it is loaded with video, pictures and articles of the lovely 90210 star. It too has dropped from the top 10,000 and continues to fall even with consistent traffic. It was on the 2nd or 3rd page of Google for some time and now it is in a freefall.

Neither of these two lenses have been flagged by Squidoo for any infraction, but no matter what I seem to do, they tumble. One thing to be happy about is that the lens I made for Halloween continues to rise in the lens ranks. It's called Ghost Pictures, and for some reason it is getting about 60 hits a day. I've checked to see where they are coming from and the lens was mentioned (and linked) from a couple of forums. Thanks to whomever did that!

All in all, I'm happy with my results with Squidoo so far and I feel I've barely scratched the surface of what I can accomplish with it. I'm going to continue working on refining my lenses and creating more. My traffic continues to increase and my clickthroughs are starting to happen. I'm only halfway through my 3rd full month with Squidoo and everyone says immediate success is not easy with Squidoo. You need to wait 6 months before you start to see much happening. Unfortunately, I don't have enough Christmas lenses up and running and it is only about a month away. Well, I guess I'll have to put together a dozen or so for NEXT christmas!

Some New Lenses I've Put Together

I've been busy doing other things, but I have found the time to put together a couple of new lenses.

One is for the Pittsburgh Penguins' star Evgeni Malkin. Malkin is having a great season and currently leads the NHL in the points scoring race.

Another lens I've done is for the city of Brantford Ontario. It still needs a LOT of work before I get it to where I want it, but I like it and plan on doing some more about other Canadian cities. I'd like to include much more info about Brantford, including real estate opportunities, sports in Brantford, etc. I think this will generate a fair bit of traffic.

Also, I created a lens about actress Jessica Alba, just for fun. She's just gorgeous and I want to increase the number of lenses I have about various movie and television stars. Eventually, I will likely create a group to hold them all.

My First Group At Squidoo Is Gaining Some Traction


I have been making lenses like crazy for the 2 and a half months I've been at Squidoo and I've finally started a group called Hockey World. It's mostly for my hockey lenses, but I'm also making sure to feature ALL hockey lenses that join the group. All together, the group has 47 lenses and several new members. If you have a lens with anything to do with hockey, hockey players, or sports cards, or anything hockey-related, join up. Even if you don't have any hockey lenses, take a look at the group and let me know what can be improved or added. I'll get right on it.

I've been joining several groups with my lenses and decided I'd set one up myself - it's easy! If you have any lenses over at Squidoo, you might want to try it yourself. It's yet another facet of the Squidoo experience. I'm considering doing up a couple more groups.

Payday At Squidoo: How Did You Do?


Well, the Big Blue Box appeared on my Squidoo dashboard heralding the latest payout from Squidoo. I didn't get what I thought I might, but I'm not really disappointed. If you are trying to get rich on Squidoo, you are going to have to do something besides relying on the monthly payout for your Squidoo rankings. A lot of the higher ranking lenses get support from Squid Angels (which helps prop them up) along with a lot more traffic than lower ranked lenses. Also, if you go to the Squidoo Top 100 List, alot of them ARE really well done lenses. There are a number of seasonal lenses, Halloween now being over, all the costume lenses will start sliding down the ranks (until next year), and be replaced by those with Thanksgiving themes and then the Christmas ones with elbow their way into the top ranks. Several are already there.

I was re-reading what I had written in the last paragraph and I was thinking some may think I had given the Squid Angels a bit of a rap, but definitely not intended. They "bless" lenses which gives them a boost and most of the top lenses definitely deserve their consideration because there are a LOT of really great lenses. I can't tell if I've had much Angel love because you don't know if they've visited your lens unless they leave a comment. I've had only 2 such comments on all my lenses (my first lens shortly after I started with Squidoo) and I'm greatful for their imput. Since then, I've had to work on better content etc to get further up the rankings, which is how it should be. Still I'd like to see some confirmation that I'm doing well.

As far as earnings from Squidoo, I had $3.32 for all of September, which was my first full month. A little disappointing, but I'm not doing this just for money. If you want to become a millionaire from your Squidoo earnings, you will need a TON of sales. There's a cap on what lensrank earnings will get you. The payout is based on your lens' average rank for the month and it's based on what "tier" your lens was in. There are 3 tiers with varying amounts each lens can earn. The 1st tier is the one you want to be in as you make the most by being in it. the 2nd and 3rd tiers earn you significantly less. Here's a breakdown of each tier:

The first rank is those lenses with an average monthly rank of between 1-2000. The second is from 2001 to approximately 8000. The third and final tier covers those lenses with a ranking of about 8001 to around 60000. The table below shows what each tier paid for each lens you had in it.

Month

Tier 1

Tier 2

Tier 3


July

$11.04

$1.72

$0.08


August

$10.75

$1.81

$0.08


September

$11.75

$1.96

$0.08




If you have one lens in the top tier for September, you would have made $11.75 (100 would be $1175.00, you get the idea). One in the 2nd tier, $1.96 (if you had 100 in this tier $196.00) and the 3rd tier, one lens would have given you $0.08 (100 lenses in the top 60,000 would have generated $8.00).

I'm working on getting as many of my lenses as possible in the top 100,000 (currently I have 38 in that range) and I am going to get them into the 3rd tier. Basically, I'll get maybe $8.00 a month for my efforts at lensranking, so I'm going to concentrate more on generating sales and let the lenses rise and fall as they may. Of course, I'll be updating them all and pinging them to the search engines etc. Each month has seen an increase in my earnings from Squidoo and I think they will eventually provide some fundage. But in the meantime, I'll continue writing what I like and continue trying to get more visitors.

President Barack Obama on Facebook & Squidoo


I've created a Facebook group (currently a group of one - yours truly) for all fans of Barack Obama. If you're on Facebook, join up and post an opinion about Obama's big win. He's still going to have to wait about 2 months before Dubya gives up the White House (Jan. 20), but he seems to have hit the ground running, which is what he promised to do during the run up to the election November 4th.

And I've also whipped up a lens for Obama called President Obama and I'll be adding to this lens as I go along and Obama takes over as president.

What About Amazon? How Do You Make It Work On Squidoo?


One of the reasons most people join Squidoo is that it can be a money-making opportunity. If you start experimenting with Amazon, you can open up an almost limitless area for generating your earnings from Squidoo. Or, you can rely on trying to keep all your lenses in the top tier (that would mean having a lensranking of over 2,000), but even if you write the most compelling content that keeps visitors coming back for more, you will find you have to keep updating your lenses all the time just to keep your top spot. Squidoo is growing at an exponential rate and with more great lensmasters joining up and each creating more and more compelling lenses, your work could start slipping down the lens ranks, meaning less earnings.

Use Amazon (and other methods) to increase what you can earn from your lenses. You can use Squidoo's Amazon module and you can also join Amazon.com's affiliate network and make even more. Just remember that just because you've plugged in Amazon products, you probably won't generate any sales. You need to work at it, cultivate it, and find what works for you and your visitors.

Here are some good tips on increasing what you can earn from Amazon:

1. Make lenses that will attract people in "buy-mode"


If you create a lens, try to think about how a visitor will react to it. If your lens was made so that you can point out something the visitor wants, show them the product they want. As an example, if you do a lens about "What Is Foot Fungus?" you should include products like foot powders, remedies and the like that are available from Amazon. You could review products that people need to cure foot fungus. People checking out a lens about a targeted topic like fungus are there for a reason: they want to know how to fix their problem. Provide an answer, and make a sale at the same time.

2. Link to products that are related to your topic


Just about the same as above, but what I mean here is that you would want to include other products that relate to your main topic. Using the same example above about foot fungus, you might have a link to specialized socks that alleviate their problems. You could use that to guide some of your traffic to your other lens about funky socks, which could lead to slippers, shoes, dresses, and just about anything else! Obviously not all of the traffic looking for foot fungus cures will go to your lens about socks, but some might - and a link from your socks lens might draw more traffic to your lens about foot fungus.

3. Sell more than just books


Amazon is a bookstore first and foremost. They are where people go when they are looking for great books. BUT. They also sell a multitude of other products! Avoid being too myopic and avoid just trying to sell books. Amazon is where people go first for books and you will hamstring yourself if you try to sell just books. There are millions of sites selling books on the Internet and you will be lost in the shuffle. Try selling some of the countless other products Amazon offers. Combine some sales modules with your great content and you will find yourself beginning to see more sales.

4. Link to products other customers like


Don't try to sell stuff that people don't want. Your visitors won't want to buy your Family Guy DVDs if they're looking for the latest New York Times bestseller (unless maybe there's a biography about Family Guy creator Seth McFarlane on the list). If you do sell books, try to link to Amazon's best rated products that relate to your topic. If your lens is about the latest best-selling detective novels, then sell them! Look for the ones that readers have judged as the best of the best and include your own reviews and offer your visitor a way to buy it now from Amazon.

5. Build more content!


Finally, BUILD MORE CONTENT! If you want to have just one or two lenses where you sell a few items, great. If you want to have money rolling in so you can retire, good luck, but you will need a lot more lenses on a variety of topics. You will need to make a sale her and a sale there on each lens. If you can generate $1 from one hundred sites each day, that's $100 a day or $36,500 a year. To do that is really hard and time consuming, but if you can do even a fraction of that (let's say 10 cents a day) you will be much better off today than you were yesterday.

Payday at Squidoo Tomorrow?


I think we might be getting the latest news about how much money we will be getting tomorrow from Squidoo. This would be based on the September rankings for our lenses and most think their will be less in the pay envelope because the August payment had that extra funds do to Squidoo giving more to make up for a miscalculation that the good folks at Squidoo made over the previous year. I wasn't a member of Squidoo at that time so I got paid for my 2 weeks with only 1-2 lenses low ranking I had at that time. All I got was $0.08, but I was still happy because I didn't think I would get anything.

This payment will be for the month of September and I had one lens in the top 2000 for just about the entire month and several in the second tier. So I think I might have earned $10 which would be the threshhold for actual payment into my bank account. Although I am hoping for $10 or more, I really don't know what to expect. I think that my payment for October will probably be less because my top lens fell out of the top tier. That payment will be coming in about another month, likely the first week of December.

Squidoo and Lens Making

This is my lens where I outline my goals and results. I show what I'm doing to be successful at Squidoo and what I'm doing wrong. And I will be shouting from the rooftops when I get my next Squidoo paycheck (maybe tomorrow?). There are links to several of my other successful lenses that you can look at to see what I am doing to generate money, get better rankings, that kind of thing. The lens is actually nicely laid out (in my humble opinion) and I think it would be beneficial for new members of Squidoo to take a look at what another newbie is doing.

Take a look at this lens called Squidoo and Lens Making. This will be my journey from newbie to Giant Squid. I have been on Squidoo for only a short time now but I've been able to put together 117 lenses and this lens will show my progress up the ranks. Becoming a Giant Squid won't happen overnight and I...

Cool. I'm Finally Getting Some Al Franken Traffic


I did up an lens about Democratic candidate Al Franken a while back when he decided to make a run for the U.S. Senate and I've had a little bit of traffic. Seeing that the race was so close (Franken and the incumbent Norm Coleman) were tied at 42% of the popular vote when I went to bed last night, and I figured both would be still waiting for the final results by morning. Franken run was a highlight on the major news networks because it was so closely fought and has ended with Franken falling short by only 571 votes in his attempt to unseat Coleman, you can bet that there will be a re-count. I'd better get updating the lens! Here's a link to my Who is... Al Franken? lens if you want to take a look.

Lens Ranking - How To Work Your Way Upwards


One of the ways you can increase what you earn from Squidoo is by having your lenses at or near the top of the lensrank pile. Getting there is not easy and staying there is even harder. By doing these things individually, you won't stick with the fast-running pack of the top Squidoo lenses, but by combining these ideas, you can give your lenses a competitive edge.

Basically what you want to do is 4 main things:

1. Update your highest rated lenses daily

2. Get sales from your lenses

3. Get traffic to your lenses

4. Get your lenses rated by more members of Squidoo

5. Get some love from the Squid Angels!

First, you need to try to have the best, most unique content on your lens you can possibly write. Some lensmasters create their lens to the best of their ability and then publish it and then never adjust their content. I'm not the most brilliant writer and although I do have some lenses doing fairly well, I can usually improve on what I've previously written. I can usually spot the odd phrase or sentence that can be fixed or tweaked. If you have a number of modules, usually there's something that can be done to improve the lens even slightly. Maybe you can add a keyword or two here and there throughout your text, or add a new tag to help searchers find your jewel. By publishing regularly, you will get a small boost in the rankings.

Secondly, if it works on the lens, you might want to try adding a sales module. Try to work any sales mod so it of course fits seamlessly with your content and avoids making your lens appear too spammy. I was guilty of this when I started creating lenses and some of my lenses still seem a little to cluttered with eBay or Amazon pitches. Let's say you get a sale (way to go!). That will give you a short-term bump in your ranking. Some of the shopping lenses get regular sales and that helps maintain their lofty ranking (plus they has great content to boot). But there's nothing worse than a lens that tries to bring visitors to it with just a fancy, intriguing title and then is just a couple of eBay mods hawking goods totally unrelated to the so-called topic of the lens.

Thirdly, if you get traffic to your lens, the Squidoo gods smile on you. Nothing makes your lens drop faster than being neglected by the lensmaker and getting no traffic. Even having one or 2 unique visitors will give your most forlorn lens a small bump. There are lenses that get 200-300 visitors a day and they stay at the top of the rankings even if they don't get updated. Of course they do have great content which draws them to the lens (think unique, targeted content). People will come if you write interesting stuff.

Fourthly, by getting more 5-star ratings from your fellow members of Squidoo, you will get a boost. But do not plea for ratings. Do not join any group that offers "If you rate mine, I'll rate yours." Do not send emails to other Squidoo members begging for them to rate your lens. By all means, visit other lenses and if you like the content, give it the rating you think it deserves. Leave good comments if there is a Guestbook. Avoid spammy messages like "Great lens. Visit my site ..." leaving a link to a totally unrelated lens topic. Most lensmasters will either delete that message, or will set up the guestbook to remove the ability to leave links. A fair number of Squidoo people won't even use a guestbook because of this and because of negative comments. Can you blame them?

Finally, make your lens worthy of having one or more Squid Angels bless the lens. That can give your work of art a nice boost and it is positive seeing that what you've worked so hard to create is that to be worthy in the eyes of the hardworking people at Squidoo.

By combining all these tips, your beautiful lens will make it's way up the rankings and eventually be in the top tier of Squidoo lenses. Then you will get a taste of the bucks the top tier lenses get each and every payday.

Obama Wins! The View From Squidoo Land


Okay, it's done. Barack Obama has been declared the new President of the United States. My congratulations to Obama and his family on his taking the big prize. Months ago, I really thought Hillary Clinton was going to take the Democratic nomination early on and figured Obama as Vice-President. A dream ticket as far as I was concerned, but the Mr Obama proved to be a tougher campaigner than I had thought.

McCain didn't have a chance in my eyes, but he did get a bump from choosing Sarah Palin as his running mate (Palin in 2012?) but then the Obama-Biden ticket pulled ahead again and from what I can see, is about 7% ahead of the McCain-Palin combo.

There will be a lot of talk about Barack Obama being the "first african-american president" and a bunch of people will be overjoyed with that, but to me that is entirely irrelevent. I believe the best man won. Period. I know it is important to show people of color succeeding and in positions of power, but it is more important to see competence in leaders and we should not be dwelling on what shade of the spectrum they are.

I remember once watching the old TV show "Homicide: Life on the Street" and they had one scene with 4 actors a detective, a police lieutenant, the chief of police, and a city politician, all having a meeting. All happened to be black. I watched the show and didn't think "Wow, four black guys in positions of power!" I thought great scene and great writing. It wasn't until later when I read something about 4 black actors portraying people in positions of power and "Wasn't that great?" I thought that wasn't the point. What I saw was 4 great characters in a great scene on a great show.

But getting back to Obama.

I am pleased that this guy is going to be the new president and wish him much success. We need change at this time and he heralds a new era. Hopefully when the realities of political life rears it's ugly head, he will be up for the job. I think he will be.

I'm Loving The New Squidoo Widgets!

My friend Loyalis (aka Captain Squid) has produced a treasure trove of new Squidoo widgets that you can add to your lenses. The one I'm enamoured with is called the "Ebay Flash Search Widget."

Thirteen widgets! You can find them at the Captain's WidgetSquid website. There's some fun games for Halloween and Super Mario Bros Game Widget that is kinda fun. But the Ebay one is the one I've been playing with. I've already added it to some of my Squidoo lenses.

It's called the Ebay Flash Search Widget and you can set it up to feature ANYTHING ON EBAY! You set it up to show "costumes" if you have a Halloween costume site or (like I did) promote Jellycat stuffed toys, or whatever you want to feature so it ties in with your lens. The box shows 45! different eBay auctions and includes a search box, so if you don't see what you want, you can search for anything on eBay!

Here Are Some New Lenses I've Put Together


Well, I've been busy creating lenses and once again, here are my latest lenses. The first one is Jellycat which features the cute little plush toys from the company of the same name. There are over 180 different variations of these soft little toys. Hopefully people will find the lens in time for Christmas, but it is one that should continue to grow after the holidays.

Another one I've put together is for the Montreal Canadiens' team captain, Saku Koivu. I've already got a bunch of hockey lenses on Gordie Howe, Maurice Richard, and newcomers, Sidney Crosby and Alexander Ovechkin.

I Finally Got Myself A Halloween Lens


Hopefully, I'll be able to cobble together some more for next year, but I do have a new Halloween lens. I've called it Ghost Pictures and it's a lens showing a bunch of photographs about scary spookies and ghosties and the like with some cool video throw in. I just felt I had to put something together for Halloween. Tell me what you think. I kinda like it. Now I've really got to concentrate on putting out some Xmas lenses. I've been mulling over quite a few ideas, and have one almost finished (mentioned below), but the ideas just keep popping into my melon so I put them on the back burner. It's a good thing I write my ideas down. I've got a couple of booklets where I scribble ideas and diagrams and such. Maybe I should just walk away for a week. Nah, I can't!

I've also put together a Christmas lens called iPods For Christmas, but it's still a work in progress, but hopefully it'll be up and running later this evening. Other new lenses are Jon Hamm (the lead guy from Mad Men), and of course my brand new Hockey group lens, Hockey World Headquarters. Including that Xmas lens I still have 16 more lenses waiting in the wings!

I really need to slow down and re-assess my current lenses. At this rate I'll have 200 by Christmas.

I've Started A Squidoo Group


I've taken the plunge. I just started my first group and it has 34 lenses in it already. Called Hockey World, basically if you have a Squidoo lens with anything hockey related, join and you're in. So far it's mostly contains individual players, but there are some others like Detroit Red Wings win the Cup again. There's a Gordie Howe lens, a Maurice Richard lens. You get the picture. Also, it has Sid the Kid and Ovechkin. Take a look and let me know what you think.

4 New Modules Now Available For Your Squidoo Lens


Squidoo just keeps adding to the list of tools available to lensmasters. There are four new types of modules that you can use to create your lenses:

1. Big Picture Module
2. Amazon MP3 Module
3. Amazon Search Module
4. Twitter Search Module

I'm especially happy to see the module which allows you to put a larger picture in your lens. I've been using the polaroid mod a lot and I'm not entirely happy with it. Hopefully I'll be able to replace some polaroids with even larger pictures. I'll test it out and get back to you.

The Amazon MP3 mod is interesting, but I think it would work best with music lenses. Of course, I'm wondering if I can use it to allow visitors to listen to TV show theme songs (are they available?).

The Amazon Search mod will be handy to help your visitors find related topics to those you are showcasing on your lens. Maybe you have the latest Stephen King book and your visitor might want to look for other horror books or books also written by the novelist. There are many variations on this idea that you can use.

Finally, there's the Twitter Search mod. Seth Godin wrote about twitter search recently in his blog. I haven't really used Twitter too much, but I know many lensmasters love this option and have mentioned using it to generate traffic.

It seems Squidoo is continually adding to the lensmaster's repertoire. These new mods will allow yet another way for you to differentiate your lens from someone elses. What's going to show up next from Squidoo?

Craigslist As A SEO Tool For Squidoo? Who Knew?


One of the better lensmasters at Squidoo shared some news about how the site craigslist had a posting with a link to her Squidoo lens called How to Reuse Toilet-Paper Rolls and she's getting a fair bit of traffic going to her lens. The lens shows a huge number of uses that the lowly toilet paper roll can be used for (there's even video!).

There's always different ways to generate traffic and sometimes it comes from unexpected sources as this. It just shows that if you create offbeat and useful lenses, people will find you. The lens in question is just one of many that promote recycling and going green. Now, if only I could get someone at craigslist to mention a couple of my lenses...

Hey I Got Chosen Lensmaster of the Day at Squidoo!


What is up with that? Apparently I've been selected as the Lensmaster of the Day for my work at Squidoo. For real! The link above leads to the page that gives all the gory details.

I'm glad that this is only for one day because I hate having the spotlight on me like this, but I am honored. How can they put my feeble efforts alongside Judy and Crystal, both of whom are so much better at lensmaking then I am? I didn't know that some of my lenses had reached a Google rank of 2. The page highlights 3 of my lenses, The Richest Man In Babylon, I Lost 50 Pounds in 6 Months, and Traitor: The Case of Benedict Arnold. To me, they are actually unfinished and need to be updated. Yeesh! Hopefully, new visitors won't be disappointed, especially after seeing the previous LMOTD winners' excellent lenses. I wish I had time to fix them up a little bit more. It's like when you have unexpected visitors and your house is a mess. I should run over and sweep up a bit before anyone shows up.

Still I'm VERY honored at the recognition. I read something about getting a badge of some kind on the Squidoo forums which is cool. I can't wait to see who is next to get LMOTD. Many thanks to Portable_eBay who came up with the Lensmaster of the Day honor.

Seth Godin's New Book "Tribes"


Hey, Seth's new book is available from Amazon! Seth Godin's latest book is called Tribes: We Need You To Lead Us, will be unleashed on the public 16October and is also available as an Audio CD. You might want to pick up a copy for yourself or for the online marketer in the family (Mom are you reading this? Darn, I knew I should have told her about my blog.)

Here's a list of some other bestsellers from marketing whiz Seth Godin that you can also take a look for at Amazon:

Meatball Sundae: Is Your Marketing out of Sync?
The Dip: A Little Book That Teaches You When to Quit (and When to Stick)
Purple Cow: Transform Your Business by Being Remarkable
The Big Red Fez: How To Make Any Web Site Better
Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die
Permission Marketing : Turning Strangers Into Friends And Friends Into Customers
All Marketers are Liars

Seth is a busy guy. He's an author and also the guy who started Squidoo. If you haven't been to Squidoo, take a look. It's a great site where you can make some money simply by writing about whatever you want.

New Giant Squids Announced at Squidoo


Congratulations to the 15 newly annointed Giant Squids over at Squidoo. Here's a list of those I've seen who have been given Giant status and a link to them:

beeobrien
vbright105
LindaJM
Joan4
stargazer00
icjackson
a_willow
NancyOram
RichLeigh
ebay-grandma
Stazjia
JasonE
naturegirl7
Mac33
lakeerieartists


If I've missed anyone, let me know and I'll get you a link. If you have any questions about what being a Giant Squid means, look at RMS' Giant Squid Mentor lens, and also, GypsyPirate's Giant Squid FAQ's.

Others who didn't make the cut this time around, hang in there! It's a momentary setback and keep up the hard work. You should make it easily when the next Giant Squids get chosen. Deadline ends 31 December 2008.
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